AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, May 12, 2017
***** Corn futures up 1 1/4 to 2 1/4; soybeans down 2 to 4 1/4 cents; Chicago wheat of a penny. ***** 
   # May grain futures went off the board today, leaving July to be the front month for corn, soybeans, and wheat.  May corn traded a range of $3.32 1/2 to $4.60 over its lifetime, May soybeans $8.72 to $11.16, May Chicago wheat $3.98 1/2 to $6.78.  
   # A mostly-clear weekend weather forecast kept grain buyers on the sideline.  Scattered showers will finish moving through the far stretches of the Eastern Corn Belt.  Drier conditions should otherwise prevail for the next 5 days.  The 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks both lean wet and very warm.  
   # A busy weekend should allow the U.S. farmer to reach nearly 70 percent on corn crop plantings after government scouts added up progress of 47 percent through Sunday.  
   # This week’s WASDE report featured supply estimates that mostly came in lighter than expected.  Corn carryout was reduced for 2016 on higher usage for non-ethanol Food and Industrial sources.  The old-crop soybean export target was revised higher by 25 million bushels.  Both of the ending stocks projections for 2017 corn and soybean crops were near the low end of the trade range.  
   # The analysts at Informa predict U.S. corn acres at 89.7 million, or just short of the 90 million estimated on the March Prospective Plantings report.  Informa’s soybean acreage estimate is 89.7 and just ahead of USDA’s 89.5. 
   # Fund traders steered clear of the grain trade today and instead flocked to the soft commodity market, where cotton was rallying sharply and cocoa was having a big day too.  July cotton jumped nearly four percent as traders ignored a large supply estimate for next year’s crop and instead focused on USDA’s reduction to 2016 production and increase for exports.  
   # Traders sorted through a host of economic data today.  Retail sales for April were a touch disappointing, gaining just 0.5 percent on the month.  A reading on consumer confidence was positive. 

***** Live cattle futures up $1.25 to $2.47; feeders higher by the $4.50 limit; hogs gain $0.37 to $1.52. *****

   # Cattle futures opened higher on optimism related to news that China would begin allowing U.S. beef imports to resume starting in mid-July.  Boxed beef prices held onto gains for the week to help support a cash trade that stuck near $135, which represents a $10 premium over June futures.    
   # The hog market keeps support from expectations the seasonal shrinking of supplies.  June futures stopped short of chart resistance from the contract’s recent $78.42 high.